Thanksgiving is upon us and the cooking marathon has already begun. The question is, once that Thanksgiving food is cooked, how are you going to get it where’s it has to go? How do you keep everything from spilling all over the interior of your vehicle? Most of all, how can you ensure food safety while you transport it to Grandma’s house (or wherever you’re having your festive meal)? Here are some tried and true tricks for packing your Thanksgiving casseroles, pies, and gravy into your car.
Carrying that Casserole
Got a green bean casserole, or a sweet potato soufflé? The truth is, buying the right casserole dish makes all the difference. It’s best to buy a travel casserole dish with a rubber lid. Otherwise, use a couple layers of aluminum foil to cover the top, and then secure it with some long, sturdy rubber bands. If the casserole is hot and you want to keep it warm until you get to your holiday destination, slip the whole dish into an insulated thermal food carrying case, and zip it up.
If you’ve got more than one casserole, and it’s a regular Thanksgiving thing to transport multiple casseroles elsewhere, get a casserole carrier. It’s worth it. And you can even find double decker casserole carriers.
Next, get that casserole dish into a cardboard box or laundry basket lined with towels. Slip more towels in around the sides and top to keep the casserole warm and secure. Stick the whole shebang into your truck, and if necessary, bolster and secure by placing more toweling around the box or laundry basket to keep it from sliding around.
Easy as Pie
Pie may just be the most important part of the meal. And you want those pies to look beautiful on the table. Because smashed pie is no fun at all.
That’s why it’s a no-brainer: Buy a pie carrier. They work! But if you don’t happen to have one, carrying a double crust pie is easiest. It’s not a good idea to wrap a pumpkin pie. You risk messing up the top. A double crust apple pie, on the other hand, can be wrapped well in heavy-duty aluminum foil for the journey, and it should be fine.
There’s nothing like a slice of turkey soaked in savory gravy. Gravy transport is best done in a square or rectangular plastic container with a secure lid. If you’re traveling far, it’s best to quick cool the gravy before transporting by placing the container in larger container of ice water. Have the host(ess) warm it up in a pot on the stove, over a low flame, giving the gravy a stir every so often. Don’t let it boil.
Using these tips should help you get your Thanksgiving food to wherever you’re having your holiday meal—without getting gravy/pie/casserole all over your trunk. Now if only we could tell you how to eat it all without gaining weight! Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the day.